Just Another Day at the Office

It was the sixth game of the 1947 World Series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees in the “House that Ruth Built”. The regular left fielder (I believe it was Andy Pafko) for the Dodgers was sick, and was replaced by utility outfielder, Al Gionfrido. It was the bottom of the eighth, Brooklyn leading 8 to 5, and the Yankees had two ducks on the pond. Up steps Joe DiMaggio. He arcs a deep drive to left field. Gionfrido races back and, at the last possible second, reaches over the low outfield railing and literally robs “Joltin’ Joe” of a game-tying home run. There is a classic film clip of DiMaggio as he’s approaching second base, he sees, in utter disbelief, the incredible catch. He kicks the dirt in disgust. Here was a man who, as a ballplayer, was the epitome of grace and confidence, never showing any emotion. And yet, he was truly upset, and he displayed it, right there in front of 50,000 fans. As far as the little Italian substitute, it just goes to show you, in America, anything’s possible if you show up at the office.

Postscript: the damn Yankees won the series.

William C. Early © 1993